The Stamford-based Career World ran an article on HCC alum Mike Russo, who credits HCC with helping him start his journalism career. Career World, published by Weekly Reader, targets middle and high school students, offering them the guidance they need to make better decisions about school, careers and life after school.

Career World

Feb/Mar 2007, Vol. 35 Issue 5, p9-11, 3p

Stepping Onto the Career Ladder.

Your first "real" job is a step toward a fulfilling career

Author: Melissa M. Ezarik

Mike Russo, 36

Education: Liberal arts degree; Housatonic Community College (Conn.)

Initial Career Goal: Russo had always had an interest in media, particularly radio and broadcasting. During high school, he was encouraged by his creative writing teacher to write for the school newspaper, and he fell in love with reporting. While in community college, he had internships at a newspaper and a public access television station. "After graduation, I hit what felt like a brick wall," Russo says. His experience, which had included a part-time job as a cameraman at a local TV station, won him print journalism interviews but never an offer.

First Jobs: Russo took on various jobs after graduation: working the camera for a minor-league baseball team, selling paint, even pumping gas at a marina.

Next Steps: Frustrated at not being able to find the journalism job of his dreams, Russo decided to train for a different career. While in an occupational therapy assistant program, he took a work-study job in Housatonic Community College's public relations department and expanded his writing portfolio. This experience helped him land a writing assignment for his hometown newspaper, the Monroe (Conn.) Chronicle. Before long, he was hired by the Chronicle as a staff reporter.

Current Job: Russo continues to live his dream of being a full-time journalist. He's a general-assignment reporter for Voices, a regional Connecticut newspaper.

Russo Says: "Look at every situation as a learning experience. Even when something doesn't go the way you had hoped, there is something to be learned."